The mule's focused intelligence, endurance and stamina in combat helped save the lives of many soldiers and gave it a war hero reputation as a very special animal with boundless courage and heart. Indeed, one can truly say that the oftentimes unsung military mules did their share to help the United States win both World Wars. The mule remains a mascot of the United States Military Academy to this date.


Entertainment on liberty took many forms, mostly depending on the coast and opportunity. One incident which became tradition was at a Navy-Army football game. In early sailing years, livestock would travel on ships, providing the crew fresh milk, meats, and eggs, as well as serving as ships' mascots. One pet, a goat named El Cid (meaning Chief) was the mascot aboard the USS New York. When its crew attended the fourth Navy-Army football game in 1893, they took El Cid to the game, which resulted in the West Pointers losing. El Cid (The Chief) was offered shore duty at Annapolis and became the Navy's mascot.  


The falcon was chosen as the official mascot by the inaugural class of 1959 for its symbolization of the aerial combat of the US Air Force. The Air Force Academy falcon is the only performing mascot in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, performing at football games, other athletic events, and cadet parades. The birds are housed on the Academy grounds and trained by cadets.


The tradition of using an English bulldog as a mascot for the United States Marine Corps has its roots in the early part of the last century, in the fighting campaigns of World War I. In an interesting bit of turnaround, it is not an image which comes from within Marine Corps ranks but instead comes from the hard won respect of their foes. German soldiers referred to the Marines as teufel hunden or “devil dogs” undoubtedly owing to their hellacious fighting ability. The Marine Corps apparently warmed to the compliment immediately and a recruiting poster of the era explicitly stated "Teufel Hunden, German Nickname for U.S. Marines" and gave the address of the "Devil Dog Recruiting Station". The poster showed a dachshund (which is also sometimes called a "weiner dog") wearing a spiked helmet with an Iron Cross (a German military medal) looking backwards as it ran from an English bulldog which wore a helmet with the Marine's globe and anchor insignia. Not long after, real bulldogs were adopted as mascots in various parts of the Corps. At times given names and even ranks, some of these faithful mascots logged thousands of miles with their owners and namesakes. Today, the USMC bulldog ranks firmly in the minds not only of "devil dog" Marines but also the public as one of the most recognized mascots of the military.


Objee - The name of the Coast Guard bear. As recently as 1984, a live bear (Objee) was kept on the Academy grounds and occasionally roamed the barracks. A bit of history: By 1926, the bear had been the Academy's mascot for sometime in honor of the Cutter Bear, which had served in the Arctic Zone for years. However, it was during this year that a Cadet by the name of Steven Evans returned from leave with a live bear cub. He somehow talked the Superintendent, Captain Hinckley, into allowing the bear to stay at the Academy. The bear was named Objee, which was short for "objectionable presence." He had many homes throughout his tenure at the Academy, but the one he spent the most time in, and his last home was the old Academy observatory next to Billard Hall. Although he did not sleep in Chase Hall, Objee was often brought into the barracks and turned loose. He showered in the cadet showers, and was even allowed to eat in the wardroom from time to time. Cadet Objee was particularly fond of visiting cadets during study hour. Apparently he lived up to his name because finally in 1984 after 27 live Objees, the tradition was ended. Interestingly, the 'last live Objee' quite literally lives (as of 4/9/2006) at Widmark Farms in New York